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The art of seeing

Hachiko

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Photographer Jun Akiyama is taking ostrich strides down a Tokyo sidewalk, snapping pictures on a flimsy-looking tourist camera. Click! A child's curious glance is frozen in grainy black-and-white. Click! Akiyama catches a moment of anxiety on an old woman's face.


Photographer Jun Akiyama manipulates grain and contrast in the darkroom to invest his photo verite prints with mystery. Life is portrayed as theater of the absurd, dance and spiritual quest -- all at once. (Jun Akiyama Photos)

When he shoots, Akiyama moves at breakneck speed -- all the better to grab those fleeting moments or, if an angry subject should take up pursuit, to gain a head start.

Today, like most days, the 34-year-old native of Okayama, in western Japan, is dressed in a black T-shirt and matching jeans and shoes. It's a low-key look which, together with the deceptively humble-looking Olympus mju:-II (it's actually packed with high-tech wizardry), allows this up-and-coming artist to get close to the action -- and to invest his photos with the stark intimacy that has become his trademark.

Japan Times
 
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